FREEHOLD – Individuals and organizations with ties to Freehold Borough have been honored by municipal officials for their contributions to the community.
On June 4, Borough Council members passed resolutions honoring community volunteer Robert “Babe” Warrington, businessman Robert Kash, the Rev. James Conover, the Freehold Borough Educational Foundation and the Freehold Borough YMCA Community Center.
Warrington received the 2017 John G. McGackin Renaissance Award for Volunteer of the Year as a Gentleman Who Makes a Difference in Our Community. He is a graduate of Freehold High School, where he later served as a football coach. He also served as a baseball coach for the Freehold Intermediate School, where he lead his team to the playoffs in his first year and won a championship in his second year.
As a volunteer, Warrington has served on the Recreation Commission, as a camp counselor and as an umpire in chief for Freehold Borough Little League, according to the resolution. He has been a member of the Freehold Elks Lodge, where he served as treasurer and head of security, and served on the Board of Directors for the Hudson Manor senior residence.
Since 1987, Warrington has been a member of Bethel AME Church, where he has served as a member and vice chairman of the Trustee Board. He has also served as director of the Bethel Sports outreach program.
“Warrington has made an impact on Freehold Borough through his many years of service and volunteerism,” the resolution states.
Kash received the 2017 John G. McGackin Award for Businessman of the Year as a Gentleman Who Makes a Difference in Our Community, according to the resolution. Kash owns several businesses, including the Metropolitan Cafe and Tre in Freehold Borough.
Kash is a two-time chairman of the Freehold Center Partnership (Downtown Freehold) and is the founder of the Freehold Restaurant Committee, a cooperative organization that seeks to improve the borough, with specific focus to its restaurants. The resolution credits Kash with introducing improvements to the Market Yard parking lot in the borough’s downtown district and states that he is an advocate for the district and its businesses.
Kash has served as a board member of the CentraState Healthcare Foundation and Special Strides, as a member of the Boy Scouts Good Scouts Committee of Monmouth County, and he has coached teams with the Freehold Soccer League. Kash, who resides in Freehold Township, is a member of the Freehold Township Planning Board.
“The mayor and council extend their congratulations and best wishes to Robert Kash for continued success and happiness in life’s pursuits,” the resolution reads.
Conover was honored on his 40th anniversary of being ordained as a priest on May 20, 1978. A graduate of Freehold Regional High School, he held religious assignments in Middletown, Howell, Trenton and Keyport before becoming pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Freehold Borough, where he had been a member, according to the resolution.
Conover “continues to foster faith and community with many programs and events, including the St. Rose of Lima School Bell Choir and the annual church carnival held every June,” the resolution states.
The Freehold Borough Educational Foundation, according to the resolution, was formed in 1999 and is a group of volunteers who support creative teaching efforts, innovative student development initiatives and enhanced community-school partnerships.
The sole purpose of the organization is to supplement the Freehold Borough K-8 School District’s budget by promoting and providing educational opportunities for students by raising funds to underwriter innovative programs and projects.
Members of the foundation have donated more than $250,000 since 2001 to programs which directly and positively impact each child in the school district, according to the resolution.
“In a district which is profoundly underfunded by the state, the Freehold Borough Educational Foundation has provided enrichment programs and experiences which would otherwise not be possible for our students,” the resolution states.
The Freehold Borough YMCA Community Center opened in 2002 and has provided programs and clubs such as dance, chess, music, investing, book leaders, achievers, fitness and art, as well as programs for senior citizens. The community center also sponsors open gym, the Colonial Basketball League, SAT classes, recreation, summer camp, and other activities, according to the resolution.
“The Freehold Borough YMCA Community Center welcomes all who want to participate in a climate of structure, fairness, good sportsmanship, responsibility and accountability, and continues to have an immeasurable impact on all individuals who experience the invaluable atmosphere of caring, kindness and guidance created and exhibited by the staff,” the resolution states.
“The dedicated staff members have opened the facility and their hearts to the community as they focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, and (the center) has become a haven of safety and caring for countless individuals, especially for our youth,” municipal officials said.